Published by Musisi Yiga John Updated at 1133 EAT on 7th May 2022.
The Ministry of Education and Sports has been urged to design a deliberate policy that will encourage and support girls to join institutions that provide technical and vocational skills training.
According to Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa, it is unacceptable that enrollment of female students remains low compared to male students, yet vocational training presents new ground for employment after studies.
“Government has taken affirmative action to ensure that the girl child goes onto an equal footing with the boy child. That is why Government introduced the 1.5 per cent for university education,” said Tayebwa.
He made the remarks while officiating at the 12th graduation ceremony of Uganda Technical College Bushenyi on Friday, 06 May 2022, where 703 students graduated with higher and national diplomas.
At the event, the Deputy Speaker observed the low number of female graduates, who accounted for 102 out of the 703 graduating on the day, representing 14.2 per cent.
“I will ensure we talk about this with Equal Opportunities Commission so that it is a requirement for a certificate of gender and equity when processing the budget of the Education Ministry. You should be able to design deliberate measures to help the girl child reach a certain level,” Tayebwa added.
He also committed to follow up funding to establish accommodation for female students within the institution, which request was made by the Acting Principal Sam Byagweri.
In his remarks, Bywagweri said one of the major challenges was space in which to accommodate the female students, and requested the Deputy Speaker to look into securing a hostel for them.
“I am going to write to the Minister of Education so that we budget for a girls’ hostel at this institution. It is insecure for them to reside in Rwentuha, Nyakabirizi or Ishaka which are far from the school,” Tayebwa said.
“Once the proposal comes to Parliament, we shall ensure funding is approved for that project not only here but also in other technical institutes to ensure that girls are given facilities in the TVET sector,” he added.
The Deputy Speaker urged the graduates to upgrade their academics and also take their skills to their home communities.
He also advised them to take advantage of programs like Emyooga and Parish Development Model where 30 per cent of funds will be secured for youth and women to make investments.
“Parliament is going to pass the Local Content Bill to protect you, so that there is a big threshold of Ugandan employees in the big projects. We shall design a deliberate policy to protect our jobs in the future since we shall have the skills,” said Tayebwa.
Allen Kagina, the Executive Director Uganda National Roads Authority, gave a key note speech where she encouraged the graduates to impact their communities, which will determine their success.
She also urged them to maintain great dreams and goals as well as carry along ambition for greatness.
“The size of your dream will determine where you lie in life. Build connections and learn from people who will edify you. We have a virgin nation for development with many opportunities and each one of us should become a harvester in our nation,” she advised.
Eng. Silver Mugisha, the Chairperson Governing Council at the College, commended Government for supporting the institution’s growth through lobbying funding from the World Bank
“Mr Speaker, if the possibility of establshing a national technical university is there, we request you to see Bushenyi Technical College as the best place to put this national institution,” he said.
Bushenyi district LC5 Chairperson Jaffari Bassajabalaba commended Ministry of Education and Sports for its support towards improving the infrastructure and technical equipment used by the College.
Alison Nankunda, the in-charge Loans and Scholarships at the Higher Education Students Financing Board, commended the 38 beneficiaries of the scheme who graduated on the day, and thanked their parents with whom they worked closely to ensure complete education.
“We remind our beneficiaries that the loans you took will be paid after a one year grace period and you will be granted up to twice your study period to have the loan paid back. This will enable the board to create a revolving fund for other beneficiaries,” Nankunda said.
On the day, the Deputy Speaker presented awards to the best performing students for the study years 2017/2018 and 2018/2019.